Special Correspondent

`People will teach Janata Dal (S) a lesson in the byelection'

  • `FIR in mining case did not implicate Shivakumar in any way'
  • Chief Minister has a series of cases in which he is implicated

    Bangalore: The charges of illegal mining against Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar are no more than an act of "cheap political vendetta" by Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy and his father and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president B. Janardhana Poojary has said.

    Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, he said the FIR filed in the mining case did not implicate Mr. Shivakumar in any way. "They don't have an iota of evidence against him," he claimed.

    The Chief Minister himself, on the other hand, had a series of cases in which he was implicated, Mr. Poojary said. These, he alleged, ranged from cases of assault and unlawful assembly in Ramanagaram police station limits to taking bribes to the tune of Rs. 150 crore from mine owners in Bellary.

    While the Congress had sought an inquiry against illegal mining in Bellary, Mr. Kumaraswamy was trying to implicate a Congress leader in it, he said.

    "Charity begins at home. Why is a CBI inquiry not being initiated against all those involved in it, including Chief Minister's family, the Forest Minister and the son of Home Minister if they are serious about the inquiry?" he asked. The Congress, he clarified, was not defending the violence that followed rumours about the arrest of Mr. Shivakumar, which he claimed was initiated by "some unlawful elements".

    Referring to the case of skirmish at a hotel in Bangalore involving Mr. Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Gowda, Mr. Poojary sought to know how the "19-year-old grandson of a humble farmer" had access to cars that cost over a crore. Mr. Deve Gowda, instead of counselling him, was defending his grandson, he said. "It is perhaps time Mr. Deve Gowda abandoned politics and joined an ashram," he said. The Gowda family was perpetrating "fraud against the people of Karnataka" and the people would teach them a lesson in the coming Chamundeshwari byelection, Mr. Poojary said.